YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Art can take many forms: painting, drawing, music and more.
For one local artist, art is not a hobby but a way of life.
“I think it was like a subliminal passion because I’ve always done it from like drawing on school desks to, I don’t know, notebook paper or grocery bags. Anything I could get my hands on to draw,” said Myke Parker.
Myke Parker began drawing when he was a small child. His dad, an artist as well, taught him there’s never a reason to be bored, just pick up a pencil and start drawing.
Years later, that lesson would evolve into a passion that can be seen all over the city.
“People choose to hang art every day, we just choose to wear ours,” he said.
After high school, Parker transitioned from drawing to tattooing. At first, he looked at it as a way of making money. Being a new father he wanted to be able to provide for his family, and what better way than doing something he did well.
With humble beginnings, he started tattooing in the basement of his home.
“Honestly, that’s where my dad had started out with his art, that’s where I’ve known him to do his art ’til four in the morning. I would be sitting on the steps watching him, he wouldn’t even know I was there for hours. Just watching him draw in the basement, so I kind of took that from him,” he said.
After a while, he outgrew his basement. Then he went on to his first shop. In the nine years he has been doing tattoos, he says he has tattooed thousands of people in the area.
“It was like yeah, a big step, but there’s so much more I want and feel like I need to do. I got a lot of purpose,” Parker said.
But his talent extends beyond tattoos. Painting is a form of art he loves just as much. From airbrush to paintbrushes, he says it is a form of expression for him.
“If I could paint for a living, all day, every day, I would,” he said.
In addition to tattooing, he said he sells his artwork and also does custom pieces.
He is currently in the process of renovating a new shop on Market Street in Youngstown. The name will be Serenity Ink, after his daughter, and should be open before the end of the year.
He said he chose to stay in the Youngstown area for a reason.
“Without Youngstown, and I mean the inner city part of Youngstown, I probably wouldn’t be the man I am today.”
He said he wants to show the youth in the city they can be successful doing what they love.